The Bainbridge Spartan baseball team returns one of the top pitchers in the state as it tries to retain the Olympic League crown this spring.
Ian “J.R.” Ritchie went 6-0 with a 0.38 earned run average last year, striking out eight in every seven innings pitched. As a senior, this will be his last year for BHS as the hard-throwing right-hander will head off to pitch at the Division 1 college level for UCLA.
When not pitching, Ritchie plays shortstop and had a .531 batting average as a junior.
Also back for BHS is first team All-Olympic League designated hitter Conner Sweeny. Other top returnees include Luke Lavigne, Zach Duffy, Breckin Hadley and Joey Hildebrandt.
The Spartans, coached by Geoff Brown, open the season Tuesday against Sequim and play North Kitsap Thursday.
The first home game for Bainbridge is March 22 against Kingston. It has another home game March 31 against North Mason before having almost two weeks off for spring break.
Other home games, which all start at 4:15 p.m., are set for: April 14, Sequim; April 19, North Kitsap; April 25, Port Angeles; April 27, Bremerton; and May 2, Bremerton.
Meanwhile, Bainbridge beat NK in golf last week 177 to 211.
In girls golf, BHS beat Sequim 205 to 241. Bainbridge also beat NK last week 211 to 282.
The Vikings, coached by Jeff Weible, also return two first team All-Olympic players.
They are led by pitcher-catcher Colton Bower, who will play for Washington State University next year. He may play football for the Cougars, too.
Shortstop Jaxson Gore also was all-league.
NK opens its season Tuesday at Olympic and plays Bainbridge at home Thursday. Games start at 4:15 p.m.
Its home games are: March 29, Port Angeles; April 14, Olympic; April 21, Sequim; April 22, Gig Harbor; April 25, Kingston; April 28, Bremerton; May 2, North Mason.
Meanwhile, in golf, North Kitsap barely beat Olympic 217 to 219 last week.
In girls golf, NK lost to Olympic in another close matchup 267 to 272.
The Bucs open their season Tuesday at North Mason and play Olympic Thursday. Games start at 4:15 p.m.
Its home games are: March 24, NK; April 12, Bremerton; April 14, North Mason; April 19, Olympic; April 21, Bainbridge; April 27, Sequim; April 28, Port Angeles.
Also, Kingston beat Olympic in golf last week 178 to 214.
In soccer, Royal beat the Bucs 3-0 Saturday.
In girls golf, the Bucs lost to Olympic 241 to 273.
Two members of North Kitsap High School’s boys basketball team have been honored for their play in the state tournament.
The Vikings placed third in state as a team in the recent tourney at the SunDome in Yakima.
Senior shooting guard-forward Jonas La Tour made the first team all-state, while sophomore guard Cade Orness made the second team.